By Jeff Lowenthal
For four years I attended Hebrew school with my friends three times a week to prepare for my Bar Mitzvah, but it was in my second year that we discussed one issue that piqued my interest. “Jesus was a good man,” the teacher said. “He was a rabbi, but not the Messiah.” Though I said nothing at the time, I was disappointed because I had come to like Jesus from watching movies shown on TV around Christmas and Easter. I liked His gentle nature and powerful words.
In my third year, a new teacher said the same thing. I raised my hand and asked, “Could we talk about this, because I’d like to know when we made the decision that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah?”
“No,” the teacher replied. “We don’t have time to talk about it.” That seemed unusual to me, because our teachers generally liked when students had questions. But the subject was dropped.
As a child, I once came to my parents in fear when I learned that people died. That fear undoubtedly spurred my interest in finding God. At college in the 60s, I examined many religions, still seeking an answer to my fear of dying. I tried to follow various claims of peace from Eastern religions, meditation, prophets and gurus. My only test was whether they could silence that sense of fear – but none of them could.
While in law school, I remembered that I had liked Jesus when I was a boy, and decided to read His words for myself in the New Testament. I was amazed by His teaching, and I was floored when I began to realize that this Jesus was in fact the Messiah of Israel! When I invited Jesus into my heart, I felt the weight of the world come off me and a strong sense of peace envelop me. That sense of fear was finally silenced, and I am happy to report that it has not returned for thirty-five years – and never will.
I still get angry and act selfish at times, but God is in my life every day now. I try to follow the Bible as I make decisions and carry out my life’s responsibilities and relationships. He helps me, especially as I pray.
The practice of law brings many pressures, but God is with me in each of these as well. He has blessed our personal injury practice even in the tough times. God has been faithful to me in every promise in the Bible. All the things which make for peace, He has given me in His Son, the Prince of Peace.